The 6.5 Best Sites to Spruce Your Color Swatches


Tired of staring at the drab default color swatch palette? Looking for some new color schemes to incorporate into your designs? If you’re like me, the answer is probably “often”. Don’t suffer it out – swap out your color palette!

Color swatch replacement files take on the file extension .ase (short for Adobe Swatch Echange).

Installing replacement color swatches in Photoshop is easy. Today I’ll show you the best places to discover and download pre-built color swatches that you can use with both Photoshop and Illustrator. Of course, you can create and customize your own swatches using Adobe’s Kuler extension. But if you’d rather browse than build, read on:

1. Copic offers a beautiful collection of digital swatches that match their analog marker counterparts. Copic color swatches have been baked into Sketchbook Pro for years, so it’s great to finally have the same color swatches in Photoshop.

Manga Studio 5 users need not fret. A user named ScruffySribbler has crafted a beautiful 358 Copic set specifically for you. You can also optionally install individual sets (cool gray, warm gray, toner gray) via the same bundle.

2. Drawing humans? How about a custom color swatch set for skin tones? deviantArt user DeviantNep has created just such a set.

3. Paint maker Sherwin-Williams offers a rich set of free color swatches that are free for use. These swatches can also be utilized in AutoCAD, if that’s your bag.

4. If your interests span UI and UX design, give Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 of harmonic color combinations a try. Made by despoth, these color schemes are sure to rock. Be sure to check out his killer UI designs as well.

5. If you paint stars and star fields, check out the Astronomical Color Swatches. With it you can mimic the visual appearance of various spectral types (including blackbody radiators).

6. Glen Moyes has developed both RGB and CMYK color wheel swatches, focusing on shades instead of tints. This particular set is the only one of its kind that accurately reproduces the Real Color Wheel by Don Jusko.

6.5. If you want the old school comic book colors, do yourself a favor and download Comic Book Color Swatches by Neil McAllister – based on vintage comic book color swatches. And while you’re at it, read the fascinating history of comic book coloring by Gerry Giovinco.

There’s something for everyone within these sets. I hope you found this collection useful. Questions? Comments? Hit me up!


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